RBC Royal Bank Ottawa Bluesfest – Day 9 by the numbers
Main Stage Headliner: John
Cougar Mellencamp. The guitar RULED today.
Party Factor: 7. John Mellencamp definitely brought out an older crowd tonight – hopefully they got to see lots of new excellent guitar-rock. Not one synthesizer on the festival grounds tonight.
Band 1: Today we rushed to festival plaza early to see Vancouver’s The Pack A.D. – a 2-piece garage rock band that kick ass. Extraordinarily high quality punk rock song writing, played with some serious nuts and a great sense of humour.
This band has been around since 2008 – sorry we’re just finding out about them now, but happy we did! Check this out:
VOX AC30: The classic amp, among many used by Brooklyn’s The Hold Steady.
The setup for this show was a guitar-gear nerd’s dream: Fender twins, Ampeg SVTs, Les Pauls, Telecasters… these guys can hold their own on some classic guitar gear, and seemed to connect with the crowd as well as any band today. Tons of fun to watch, super-nice guys (were very complimentary about Ottawa to the home crowd), and masterful guitar work.
Day 4: That was the day we went on and on about how great MSTRKRFT’s set was on the electro stage. But, it might have been eclipsed tonight by Russia’s DJ Arty. Tearing through HUGE electro (he had some spectacular remixes in his bag of tricks!), Arty whipped the crowd into frenzy after frenzy. Definitely a bunch of goosebump moments seeing this guy DJ. The only beats we saw tonight – but glad we caught Arty.
2 Countries: An incredible display of the guitar-rock chops of both Canada and the USA today. The former, represented by Sam Roberts (had a monster crowd to see him play – loved the saxophone player – nice touch!) and The Sheepdogs (absolutely pitch-perfect). The latter represented by The Hold Steady (see above), and John Mellencamp – one of the last touring masters of roots rock & roll.
Tomorrow should be fun too. Looking forward to seeing Drop the Lime, A-Track, Young the Giant, seeing who jumps out and surprises us, and maybe even singing along to Blue Rodeo a bit, but we’ll never admit to it…
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